Category Archives: Holiday

Countdown to New Year’s with Netflix and a Giveaway!

31st December 2015

NYE_CareBears

Netflix is genius.

Do you have little kids who desperately want to stay up until midnight on New Year’s Eve to ring in the New Year, whereas you’re thinking, “NOPE?” Thanks to Netflix, you can trick them into thinking it’s midnight, at anytime you like tonight!

Netflix is launching six on-demand countdown specials that parents can use to ring in the new year anytime! They can choose when it’s time to say goodnight and the kids choose how to celebrate with their favourite characters including: Puffin Rock, Care Bears & Cousins, Inspector Gadget, King Julien, and favorites from DreamWorks Animation like Mr. Peabody and Sherman and Project Mc2.

Netflix surveyed parents in the US, UK, France, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Italy, Spain, and Mexico recently and found that 55% would love to be able to ring in the New Year with their kids early, using a special countdown. With 95% of Canadian parents spending this special night with their kids, Netflix’s early countdown options are a brilliant idea. I wish I had had this option when my kids were younger. Sadly, they’re too old to trick at this point so I am REALLY looking forward to dealing with exhausted tweens tonight.

Their poll also found these interesting stats about Canadian families and how they’ll be celebrating this New Year’s Eve:

  • More than a third of Canadian parents would use a special New Year’s Eve countdown as a way to get their kids to bed early (34 per cent)
  • 51 per cent of parents feel that having an on-demand New Year’s Eve countdown will allow them to celebrate as a family
  • Over 70 per cent of parents would start their special countdown before 11 p.m., with one in five parents choosing 9 p.m. as the ideal time to ring in those famous 10 seconds (20 per cent)
  • 65 per cent of parents plan to spend time with their significant other after putting their kids to bed before midnight

To ring in the New Year, I’d love to give away a little Netflix love to one lucky winner. Enter below to win a 6-month membership to Netflix Canada!!! This is open to Canadian residents only and will run until January 7, 2016!! GOOD LUCK and a HAPPY and HEALTHY NEW YEAR to you and yours!!

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Holiday 2015 Gift Guide: DVDs

15th December 2015

My Holiday 2015 Gift Guide for last minute shoppers like myself continues with MOVIE DVDs! (I blogged about some great kid’s picture books yesterday.) I think DVDs are a great gift to give or add to a stocking, again without a huge investment. There is SO much to choose from right now but I’m focusing on newer releases for those movie fans on your list. Here are some that are sure to please!

holiday gift guide movies

  • The Man From U.N.C.L.E
  • Mission: Impossible Rogue Nation
  • Shaun the Sheep Movie

holiday gift guide movies

  • He Named Me Malala
  • Pan
  • Amy

holiday gift guide movies

  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
  • Trainwreck
  • Minions

holiday gift guide dvds

  • Ted 2
  • Maze Runner: The Scorch Trials
  • Vacation

HAPPY SHOPPING!!!

Mattel’s #ListToppers and a Giveaway

15th December 2015

Christmas is around the corner and if you’re like me, you’re not even close to done with shopping for everyone on your list. I see scrambling for last minute gifts two days before Christmas in my future.

Do you have any little ones on your list? Mattel’s annual #ListToppers Toy List features 12 great toys this year, including:

  • Fisher-Price Bright Beats Dance & Move BeatBo
  • Barbie 2015 Holiday Doll
  • Fisher-Price Thomas & Friends Turbo Flip Thomas
  • Fisher-Price Smart Toy-Bear
  • Barbie Rock ‘n Royal Lead Doll/Co-Lead Doll
  • Barbie Saddle ‘N Ride Feature Horse
  • Monster High Boo York, Boo York Floatation Station Astranova Doll & Accessory
  • Monster High Gooliope Jellington
  • Hot Wheels Ultimate Garage
  • Matchbox Treasure Truck
  • Mega Bloks First Builders Block Scooping Wagon

And our favourite….Ever After High Way Too Wonderland Dolls!

ever after dolls

In my house, my nine-year-old loves the Ever After High line and the dolls featured in this year’s #ListToppers were no exception. The Way Too Wonderful dolls include Kitty Cheshire, Madeline Hatter, Apple White and Lizzie Hearts. Their outfits are fantastic and come with pocket watches that open, fun accessories and doll stands. These will be a hit under the tree this year.

Would you like one? I’m giving away an Ever After High Way Too Wonderland Doll just in time for Christmas. You get to pick your favourite from the four dolls shown above as well. Being so close to Christmas, I’d love to get this to you in time (although I can’t guarantee it), so this will be a quick giveaway, ending THIS FRIDAY at midnight!! Enter below – it is open to Canadian residents only! GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Holiday 2015 Gift Guide: Picture Books

14th December 2015

I’m going to be sharing my Holiday Gift Ideas all this week for those late shoppers like me who are still looking for great gift ideas. None of my lists are sponsored in any way – you’ll be seeing products I actually like, endorse, WANT and not because I’m paid or asked to do so.

First up, some fantastic children’s picture books for your little (and big) book lovers. These are all fun and special in their own way. I think they would make wonderful gifts and they’re a great way to bring joy without a huge investment. Books make the BEST gifts!!
Childrens Picture Books

childrens picture books

childrens picture books

12 Days of Picture Books – Pom Pom Panda Gets The Grumps

3rd December 2015

Books are the absolute BEST gift to give (and receive) this time of year. Or anytime of year quite frankly. A gorgeous picture book is a perfect way to show a little person in your life that you adore them. Why not gift them a book that will make them smile like Pom Pom Panda Gets the Grumps by Sophy Henn.

Look at that grumpy face!

pompom panda

This is a story about a little panda named Pom Pom who wakes up on the wrong side of the bed, and is just a total grump. This is me, Monday to Friday – although I do tend to perk up on the weekends.  This adorable tale follows Pom Pom on his grumpy day where nothing seems to go right, all the way until he gets to school. I wonder how his friends will feel about his grumpy attitude?

Pom Pom Panda is a sweet picture book that any little person would enjoy. The illustrations are SOOOO cute – just love them.

pompom panda

That is a face to love.

Would you like to win a copy for yourself?? For the next twelve days, Penguin Kids is giving away some of the best picture books, several of which I will be highlighting on my blog. To enter to win one of TWO copies of Pom Pom Panda Gets the Grumps, head on over to the Penguin Kids Facebook Page TODAY!! This particular giveaway will end 11:59 PM EST on 12/04/15. GOOD LUCK!

12DaysofPB_blog tour

Smithsonian Design: The Definitive Visual History #awesomegifts

26th November 2015

smithsonian design book

Smithsonian Design: The Definitive Visual History lays out the complete evolution of design, from its origins in early cultures to the contemporary design – physical and digital – of today. This comprehensive volume covers every major design movement, along with the iconic designers and manufacturers who influenced everyday life through the objects and buildings they created.

If you’re a fan of design, you will absolutely love this book. Smithsonian Design is a gorgeous coffee table book that covers all aspects of design. It takes the reader through the evolution of design, from the Arts & Crafts period (1850-1920) to the Mid-Century Modern (1940-1959) to the Postmodern & Contemporary of the 80s and onward, and everything in between. At the back of the book, you’ll also find a glossary of design terms and a designer index.

smithsonian-design

Smithsonian Design is full of large, gorgeous photographs that complement the book beautifully. In each section, key dates are outlined and after a brief description of the era, specific pieces are highlighted, naming the designer and estimated date of the piece. There are also several pages that focus on the evolution of the design of specific items, such as chairs. This really gives you a great glimpse of how the design has changed over the last century.

smithsonian-design

If you’re looking for #awesomegifts this holiday season, this is a winner. I’m such a fan of DK Canada coffee table books – they’re always such a beautiful and quality read. They have something for everyone, so make sure to click on the #awesomegifts graphic below to take you to some other great gift ideas from DK Canada. You can find DK Smithsonian Design online at Indigo.

dk awesome gifts

Help Feed Children With Cuddle + Kind

23rd November 2015

cuddle-and-kindThis is Everest.

He’s 20″ of cute – hand-knit with premium yarn, stuffed with hypoallergenic goodness and non-toxic. He was handmade in Peru using Fair Trade practices. And when you purchase Everest, you’re not just buying a sweet knit doll, you are also providing ten meals to children in need in North America and around the world, through the World Food Program USA* and Children’s Hunger Fund.

Everest is just one of nine super adorable knit dolls available from Cuddle + Kind. You can also choose from two lovely mermaids (Isla & Pearl), two cute reindeer (Willow & Scout), two sweet bunnies (Chloe & Benedict) and two kittens (Maximus and Chelsea). They’re all so damn cute, but I’ve develped a bit of a crush on Benedict – how could I now with those glasses and bow tie and vest. They’re just the sweetest and they would make such an adorable prezzie for any little boy or girl, while also giving to those in need at the same time.

cuddle-and-kind

Cuddle + Kind sent us Everest and my daughter is in love. He’s officially her new bedtime buddy and has been every single night since he arrived. You can tell he’s been made with care and every detail has been carefully thought out, front and back, from his little scarf and knit hat, to his booties and perfectly yellow beak.

Cuddle + Kind is the brainchild of Canadian couple, Jennifer and Derek Woodgate, and their goal is to provide one million meals every year. To purchase a doll you can go here to order them via Indiegogo. You can also find Cuddle + Kind on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

cuddle-and-kind

Holiday Gift Ideas With Crayola And a Giveaway!

23rd November 2015

Crayola-Holiday

The holiday season is here and it’s time to get shopping for everyone on your list.

My kids started their lists weeks ago – they’ve taped them to the fridge and just keep adding to them as they see things they want. I figure they’ll have a short story by the time we get to December. Lucky me.

My 9 year old always has something from Crayola on her list – she loves being creative and art and is very imaginative. ‘Crayola believes in the genius of imagination, the power of play and the magic of dreams.’  I love that and I’m all for it.

Crayola has some great gift ideas that would be perfect for this holiday season. We had a chance to try some of them out and they are definite winners!

Crayola Crayon Carver

crayola-holiday-ideas

The Crayola Crayon Carver is a multiple award winner and geared to kids ages 6+. The Crayon Carver allows kids to experience engraving by tracing. First, you remove the crayon wrapper using the included wrapper ripper tool. You then place the crayon into the chamber to hold it in place. You select the tiles for the message you want to engrave, and then you trace the tiles which will simultaneously engrave the message into the crayon. This was one of my daughter’s favourites and she was amused with it for a long time. It was a definite hit.

Easy Animation Studio

crayola-easy-animation-studio

Another award-winner is the Easy Animation Studio, geared to kids ages 8+. To use this toy, you must download the Animation Studio app. The toy includes the mannequin and stand, a 30 page booklet, coloured pencils and a device stand. First, you choose which character you want to play with and colour and design it front and back, and then scan it in to your smartphone or tablet. You then place your device in the stand and position the mannequin in various poses. The on-screen character you scanned earlier then mimics the poses of the mannequin and records it as a video.

My daughter LOVED playing with this and didn’t require any help setting it up. She had a great time making videos and recording her voice into them, and then showing them off. Another hit!

Cling Creator, Thread Wrapper and Light-Up Stamper

crayola-products

Need more award-winning ideas for prezzies this year? The Cling Creator allows you to create clings using included molds that will stick to and peel from virtually any surface. You can make up to 20 clings but refill packs are available as well.

The Crayola Creations Thread Wrapper is a motorized threading machine that allows you to style things you own with colourful threads. The Thread Wrapper comes with six spools of thread but you can use any thread with the machine. You can also use Crayola markers to add colour to the threads as well.

The Light-Up Stamper kit allows for mess free colouring by using Color Wonder inks. These inks are clear but the Light-Up Stamper kit actually lights up so you can see what colour you’re using. The great thing about Color Wonder inks is that they don’t colour or mess up your clothes or furniture or anything. It’s delightful.

Crayola has so many great gift options for the holiday season, and I want to help you get started. I’m giving away two of these fun products – The Crayon Carver and the Easy Animation Studio (valued at $60). You can enter below via Rafflecopter – the giveaway is open to Canadian Residents only and will run until December 1, 2015. GOOD LUCK!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Holiday Decorating Tips With Candace Olson & Febreze #Giveaway

23rd December 2012

I’m not much of a holiday decorator – less is more in my book.

I like a tree. I like the kid’s holiday art that I happily put up. I love Christmas lights outside and that’s about it.

I call my design minimalist dull. It’s very festive.

So, when I got the chance to ask the lovely Candace Olson some decorating questions, I jumped at the chance. Originally I was supposed to ask her my questions live, but then my kids got sick and we had to improvise.

My questions to her:

  • How can I make my home look festive and bright, but still simple and stylish during the holidays.
  • What’s your advice for bringing in natural elements into your holiday decor?
  • How can I use scents to complete my home’s holiday ambience?
  • Where can my readers go for more information?

In truth, I wanted to ask her other things like, will you come to my home and make it look more magazine-y and less Ikea chic, but I suppose that will have to wait until next time when I’m sure she’ll invite me over for coffee. She referred to me as THE BORED Mommy so I can only assume an invite is on its way.

Until then, please enjoy the video below and then enter to win a fab Febreeze giveaway!

GIVEAWAY!

I’m giving away a Febreze gift basket (that will include candles, scented oil, and air freshener)! To enter, leave me a comment below about your holiday decor style.

RULES:

  • One entry per person
  • Open to Canadian Residents.
  • Winner will be chosen using Random.org
  • Giveaway will run until Sunday, December 30th, 2012.

UPDATE: Congrats #4 Angela M – Thanks to everyone who entered!

How To Save Money Over The Holidays #Mobilicity

13th December 2012

There are some people who don’t need to think about money and how much they spend during the holidays.

I am not those people – most of us aren’t actually. According to new research released by Mobilicity, Canada’s smart mobile phone carrier, 58 per cent of Canadians say they spend more than they should during the holidays and a further 59 per cent find themselves making impulse purchases.

So with that in mind, I have some suggestions on how you can save money while shopping during the holiday season.

  • Budget – First thing, you need to come up with a budget of the maximum amount you’re willing to spend during the holidays. The maximum needs to be something realistic, something you can afford and something that won’t give your spouse a heart attack.
  • Lists – Lists are your friend. First, make a list of every person you need to buy for, and then attach a monetary amount to each person as the maximum you’ll spend on that person. Hopefully when you add that all up, it will equal your budget. That’s math – see, you did need it after high school, after all.
  • Scan the weekly ads and sign up for emails to the stores you frequent – Yup, the holidays are that time of year where you are inundated with junk mail until your eyeballs bleed. Thankfully, it sometimes pays off if you’re vigilant and paying attention to sales. Why pay more for something when you can pay less?
  • Keep your receipts – Your receipts come in handy for many reasons, but the best one I know of are price adjustments. Almost every store out there gives price adjustments but almost every store out there never actually tells you that. So when you make a purchase, ask them how their price adjustments work and keep track. You can often get money back from your purchases because they’ve gone on sale in the allotted time frame. That’s “free” money baby – and as my very Greek dad says in his very thick Greek accent, “If you see money in the street, you no pick it up?” The man has a point.
  • Pick names – If you come from a large family like I do (think The Brady Bunch on steroids), then you should consider picking names or buying just for the kiddies. It will save you a ton.
  • Homemade gifts – For the Marthas out there, homemade gifts are always lovely and considerate, and cost effective. I’m no Martha, sadly.
  • It’s The Thought That Counts – This is my husband’s favorite saying, and yes in certain circumstances, this is a very true and valued sentiment. And when it makes sense to go there, do so. But dearest husband, this sentiment does not apply to you so don’t even try it. Say it with handbags. And diamonds. And handbags filled with diamonds.
  • Pay with cash – This is a big one and you may need to plan and save for it, but it is so worth it. Paying with cash guarantees none of that holiday shopping hangover when you finally get your credit card statements after the new year. If you’re using your credit cards and paying them off right away, good on you. But more than likely, I’m going to find you in the fetal position, mumbling to yourself about interest rates in the corner. Don’t give yourself long-term pain for short term gain – it is so not worth it.

Content courtesy of Mobilicity, Canada’s smart mobile carrier.  Find out how to avoid a holiday shopping hangover and reduce your monthly spending all year round with unlimited data, talk and text, without contracts and hidden fees at Mobilicity.ca.  Now that’s smart!

*This post was sponsored but my words are my own.*

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